Power plant workers seek compensation

12 June 2013

Limay, Bataan - The long-delayed payments for the displaced thousands of workers of the defunct State-owned Bataan Thermal Power Plant (BTPP) remained elusive and is further delayed anew with the apparent division of the group of the claimants.

The millions of payment of the workers would be sourced from the payment of the movable properties of BTPP, described as scrap metal with market value of around P400 million more or less, said Sheriff Aida Gervacio.

Three labor groups are reportedly claiming on the scraps as their payment for their benefits.

Acting on orders of Executive labor Arbiter Mariano Bactin of the National Labor Relations Commission based in San Fernando City, Pampanga, Sheriff Gervacio had implemented Tuesday a "Break Open Order" which forced the Sheriff, with aide from the National Bureau of Investigation, to enter the heavily-guarded BTPP complex inside this town.

As Gervacio and the heavily armed NBI personnel entered the gate of BTPP, a tension and commotion ensued after the current and detailed security guards refused them (the Sheriff and the NBI) entry, prompting Gervacio to force open the gate.

As soon as the detailed guards were made to lay face down, two other security agencies-Lockheed and Edum security- also entered the gate and took over the BTPP compound. Gervacio said that she was just implementing an order from NLRC to "effect the possible recovery of all the properties which are included in the auction sale and Certificate of Sale" of the scrap metal.

Big volume of the scrap, however, is reportedly toxic-laden and that it cannot be immediately taken out unless it is cleansed of its toxicity by experts.

However, Gervacio noted that a big volume of scrap metal worth millions of pesos had been transported out of the BTPP complex.

As soon as Gervacio and the NBI led by director Jojo Yap were inside the gate, Aurelio Montes, BTPP Plant manager, told them that some 40 truckloads of materials and valuable scraps had been allegedly taken out by businesswoman Marissa Cruz who is said to be the one who was given the authority to haul off the P400 million worth of scraps from BTPP.